x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Abu Dhabi could start 2010 season

George O'Grady says the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship could open the 2010 calendar season of the European Tour.

Phillip Archer lets fly off the tee at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
Phillip Archer lets fly off the tee at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

LONDON // George O'Grady says the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship could open the 2010 calendar season as the European Tour looks to transform its schedule. Plans are being discussed to change events to tie in with the new Race to Dubai and Dubai World Championship. O'Grady, the Tour's chief executive, was speaking as the new branding was unveiled for the Tour's link-up with Leisurecorp for the Race to Dubai - which replaces the Order of Merit for the 2009 season.

He said a new calendar programme will be put in place for 2010, starting in January and ending in November. Abu Dhabi, the Qatar Masters and the Dubai Desert Classic form the Gulf swing, taking place in January and February. O'Grady said: "The Gulf swing will remain the same at the start of 2009 and it might make sense to keep it that way. "While the 2009 calendar is almost finalised, the 2010 needs to be looked at so we have it taking place from January to November in time to end with the Race to Dubai and Dubai World Championship.

"We are excited about this partnership with Leisurecorp and the new branding highlights how we are evolving." David Spencer, chief executive of Leisurecorp's Golf Division, cannot wait to see the Dubai World Championship take place in 2009 at Greg Norman's Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 19-22. "We are all excited and to see the brand and the architecture of the Race to Dubai and Dubai World Championship is fantastic. It makes sense and fits together," he said.

The Tour has decided to keep its name despite talks on renaming it as the World Tour. What is part of the branding of the Dubai World Championship is the colours of the UAE flag and the iconic name of the six-time Open winner Harry Vardon to the Order of Merit trophy. @Email:akhan@thenational.ae